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Adolf Hitler Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 37 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Adolf Hitler.
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Adolf Hitler Summary & Study Guide Description

Adolf Hitler Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion and a Free Quiz on Adolf Hitler by John Toland (author).

Adolf Hitler comes from a modest family in Northern Austria. He wants to be an artist or architect but is not able to be enrolled in any such school. Hitler goes to Vienna to study art and ends up living in homeless shelter for years. He emigrates to Munich in Germany and enlists in the Bavarian Army when World War I breaks out. After being in the trenches for four years, Hitler is wounded by poison gas. When he recovers, he decides to become a politician. By then, Germany has sued for an armistice with the victorious Allies.

Hitler is picked up by certain circles in German military intelligence and soon he is spewing a line of blaming Jews for the Versailles Treaty and confronting Communists. Jews are also blamed for Communism, which is making headway in the chaos of post-war Germany. Hitler, with the help of money from the army and rich individuals, rapidly draws a following. He attempts to overthrow the government of the state of Bavaria in November 1923 in the Munich Beer Hall Putsch. This is defeated and Hitler is jailed. In a sensational trial, Hitler is allowed to justify his attempted coup in hours of speeches to the court, though he is sentenced to five years in jail. Hitler studies, writes his book, Mein Kampf, and is released after a year. Hitler is involved with women in a string of unhappy love affairs that includes the suicide of Geli Raubal, his niece. Hitler draws adventurers like Hermann Goring as well as intellectuals like Rudolf Hess to his movement. Hitler's next chance to come to power is the Great Depression. In 1930, his party becomes the second largest party in the Reichstag. After a leading banker backs Hitler's finances, Hitler is appointed Chancellor by President Hindenburg and quickly establishes a dictatorship. This is solidified after the Reichstag Fire, which Hitler blames on the Communists and uses as an excuse to get rid of civil rights. In the "Night of the Long Knives" Hitler has many of his opponents and rivals killed, including Ernst Rohm the leader of the SA and General von Schleicher.

Leading British statesmen such as Anthony Eden and former Prime Minister Lloyd George are fascinated with Hitler and are inclined to allow him to rearm, since they look at him as a strategic opponent of the Soviet Union. Hitler is allowed to occupy Austria and Czechoslovakia after much tension. In 1939, Hitler invades Poland, which results in war with Britain and France. Hitler signs a non-aggression pact with the Soviets and splits Poland with them. In April 1940, Hitler breaks the stalemate and attacks Norway, and soon he defeats France. Hitler is unable to bring Britain to surrender under its new Winston Churchill government. In June 1941, Hitler attacks the Soviet Union and is stopped at the gates of Moscow. Hitler mounts another attack towards the Caucauses and an entire German army is surrounded and destroyed at Stalingrad. Hitler continues to fight the war though he knows he has lost. His main goal seems to be to annihilate Jews in his concentration camp system and others that he targets for destruction. On July 20th 1944, a Gen. Stauffenberg attempts to kill Hitler with a bomb, but Hitler survives. A new wave of repression and murder begins in Germany, which only ends with Hitler's suicide and Germany's surrender.

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